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Spoken verb processing in Spanish: An analysis using a new online resource

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2009

SEMILLA M. RIVERA
Affiliation:
University of Texas at San Antonio and University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
ELIZABETH A. BATES
Affiliation:
University of California at San Diego
ARACELI OROZCO-FIGUEROA
Affiliation:
University of California at San Diego
NICOLE Y. Y. WICHA
Affiliation:
University of Texas at San Antonio and University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Verbs are one of the basic building blocks of grammar, yet few studies have examined the grammatical, morphological, and phonological factors contributing to lexical access and production of Spanish verb inflection. This report describes an online data set that incorporates psycholinguistic dimensions for 50 of the most common early-acquired Spanish verbs. Using this data set, predictors of response time (RT) from stimulus onset and mean differences at offset are examined. Native Spanish speakers, randomly assigned to one of two tasks, listened to prerecorded verbs and either repeated the verb (single word shadowing) or produced its corresponding pronoun. Factors such as stimulus duration, number of syllables, syllable stress position, and specific levels of initial phoneme facilitated both shadowing of a verb and production of its pronoun. Higher frequency verbs facilitated faster verb repetition, whereas verbs with alternative pronouns increased RT to pronoun production. Mean differences at offset (stimulus duration is removed) indicated that listeners begin speaking earlier when the verb is longer and multisyllabic compared to shorter, monosyllabic words. These results highlight the association between psycholinguistic factors and RT measures of verb processing, in particular, features unique to languages like Spanish, such as alternative pronoun and tense.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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